John Dooley, BLS ’14

After retiring from the U.S. Postal Service, John Dooley wanted to start a new career and knew he needed a college education to get ahead. Interested in law, he got an associate’s degree in paralegal studies from the College of Lake County, but realized he needed more.

“I became convinced if I wanted to have the best chance at a better career, I had to get my bachelor’s degree,” Dooley said.

He looked for a university that would accept his associate’s degree and became interested in Dominican University’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, which can be completed online or on-campus. Graduates of the program are qualified to work as paralegals, law enforcement officers, public officials and nonprofit leaders. 

“Dominican stood out as having the curriculum I wanted. It would accept my associate’s degree, and the online program would give me the freedom to set a schedule of study that would fit into my day,” Dooley said.

Dominican staff answered all of his questions and guided him through the program.

“The online classes at Dominican were great. The class size was small, making it an intimate—at times one-on-one—learning experience,” Dooley said. “I had access to the professors and they usually replied promptly. That is what I really liked about online learning.”

Dominican currently offers two fully online bachelor’s degree completion programs—the Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies—as well as a low-residency Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution.

The Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies is an interdisciplinary program exploring the American legal system from a wide range of perspectives, including economics, philosophy, theology and history.

Those looking to work as paralegals will have the opportunity to take courses in specific areas including civil litigation, real estate law, preparation for paralegal certification examinations and preparation for law or graduate school.

All of Dominican’s courses are taught by highly qualified instructors who bring years of professional experience in the legal industry.

“The knowledge gained in studying economics and the law, the universal commercial code and ethics, along with leadership, gave me a solid foundation to enter any business venture with a confidence I never had before,” Dooley said. “I recommend the continuing education program at Dominican to anyone who is looking to get a bachelor’s degree in legal studies.”

Dooley, who is named after both of his grandfathers who never had the opportunity to go to college, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Dominican University.

“I’ll never forget walking across that stage, carrying both their names with me,” Dooley said. “I know they were very proud.”

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Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies